Pirates’ Agrazal shuts down Astros for 1st MLB win

Rookie right-hander Dario Agrazal recorded his first career victory as the Pittsburgh Pirates slugged their way to a 14-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.

The Pirates have won seven of 10 games following a seven-game losing skid and can claim this three-game interleague series with a victory in the rubber match Thursday. Pittsburgh improved to 9-4 against the American League this season, including a 5-1 record on the road.

Agrazal (1-0) had a no-decision during his major league debut on June 15 at the Miami Marlins after allowing three runs (two earned) over four innings. He was much sharper in his second career start, limiting the Astros to a George Springer leadoff home run in the first inning.

Although he recorded two of his three strikeouts in the first and totaled just four swinging strikes over six innings, Agrazal wielded his four-pitch arsenal to positive results. He threw 37 sinkers and 28 sliders while tossing 17 four-seam fastballs and changeups each, weaving around baserunners in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

The Astros ran into an inning-ending double play in the third, with Robinson Chirinos tagged out at home following an Alex Bregman strikeout. Chirinos was part of a more conventional 5-4-3 double play in the fifth that erased Tyler White, who opened the frame with a walk. Agrazal gave up five hits and three walks but allowed just three baserunners to reach scoring position.

The Pirates made short work of Astros left-hander Framber Valdez (3-4), tagging him for two runs in each of his three innings. Josh Bell blasted a 423-foot, two-run home run, his 21st, to get the scoring started in the first before Kevin Newman and Corey Dickerson added run-scoring hits in the second. Newman extended his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest in the majors this season, and finished 4-for-6. Dickerson added a two-run single in the third and went 4-for-4.

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Valdez endured his second consecutive rough outing, surrendering six runs on eight hits and one walk. He allowed five runs while recording 10 outs at the New York Yankees on June 20.

Jung Ho Kang cranked a two-run homer, his sixth, off Astros reliever Chris Devenski in the sixth. Jose Osuna and Newman homered off White as part of the Pirates' six-run ninth.

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--Field Level Media

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